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  • Display : 5 inches, AMOLED
  • Max OS : Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • Storage : 32 GB
  • RAM : 4 GB
  • Body Material : Gorilla Glass 4, Aluminium
  • Cameras : Rear: 12.3 MP, Front: 8 MP
  • Dimensions (L, B, W) : 5.6, 2.7, 0.3 in.
  • Connectivity : 4G, VoLTE

Of the first two phones that Google just dropped on to the world under it’s own brand name is the Google Pixel. It’s already taking on all of 2016’s flagships from Apple’s iPhone 7 to Samsung’s Galaxy S7.

The phone has a 5 inch Full HD AMOLED display which makes it one of the smaller high-end smartphones available in the market.

Qualitatively, the display is crisp and vibrant, and is relatively easy to read in direct sunlight too, giving it another plus (though Samsung devices have that too!).

Internal hardware wise, the Google Pixel runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor, Android 7.1. Nougat for an OS, and carries 4 GB of RAM. It has two storage options: 32 GB and 128 GB, without any expandable memory (going the Apple way!).

For the primary camera it has a 12.3 megapixel unit, which has been rated quite well (as we have discussed in an exclusive post on our website), and an 8 megapixel front camera, which goes with the market standard pairing of this year.

Connectivity options include LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C and GPS. The phone weighs 143 gms, not the lightest ever, but quite a comfortable one to hold for quite a while.

As for the phone’s battery, it ships with a 2,770 mAh non removable battery, which on the face of it doesn’t sound that impressive, but will probably last you the day. It works with the USB Type-C power delivery specification, and not with Qualcomm’s QuickCharge or any other accelerated charging systems you’ll see in other fast-charging devices. A full charge from completely flat takes about 1 hour 45 minutes, reaching 25% capacity in about 15 minutes, 40% in 25 minutes and 66% in about 50 minutes.
It’s not the fastest in the market, but considering it’ll last you about the day, that’s not bad. Also, it’s better than Apple (if that means something to you).

With an all-metal body, all-glass display, rock-solid build, fingerprint scanner and headphones socket, the phone checks most of the boxes expected of a top-end smartphone, except for the lack of waterproofing, or even being water repellent. While the competing Apple and Samsung devices can sustain a mild dive into the water, we are not sure how well Pixel will do even with a mild spray of water.

Of the things that the phone does have going for it, is the processor. The phone is the first to ship with Snapdragon 821, which is a better version of the Snapdragon 820 that was found in most flagships of the year, and is virtually the best in the market.

So we can safely assume that performance should not be an issue for the phone. It’s also the first smartphone to be certified to use Google’s new virtual reality platform DayDream, though we won’t know how big points that scores for the phone, because DayDream is not yet available publicly.

Another noteworthy thing on the phone is the Google Assistant, which used to once upon a time be Google Now. The difference is now that it will talk back to you, working with a two way conversation. So, basically, you ask it a question, it answers but keeps listening for a follow-up command or further questions about the subject.

While in theory this does not sound quite like a leap, but in practice it is. The leap also means that the assistant has not perfected it yet. While with easier conversations, like say about the weather, or about directions, it is fairly good, but with more complex conversations, say about restaurants, and movies, it fumbles through.

What might also be a concern for those concerned with privacy and security is that the Assistant records all your searches and even your location, and the key to disabling that is buried deep inside the search app settings, something that Apple’s more popular Siri does not do. Some critics say that the assistant is dumber than they expected it to be, but Google claims that it will get better with time, something we all would like to see happen.

All in all, of the four big names in the world of phone-based Artificial Intelligence – Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, Google has maintained a lead more often than not, and the smart assistant on this phone shows that.

The Pixel range from Google is the first smartphone range that is in-house Google. It is a successor to the Nexus range, where Google brought the devices in association with OEM’s, and provided the software, but did not have a 100% control on the device. Nexus has been received quite well over the last few years, but the idea with Google claiming entire control of the device is to bring to the user an enhanced experience, quite like what Apple claims to have with a total control of their devices.

For Google, the Pixel phones might be a little more than just devices; they might be  a referendum on if Google as a brand sells in the market, and if it does, then for what value. All in all, it seems like the phone is an iPhone beater, but not quite the Android King yet. The phone is priced at $650 at this time, and it has a bigger sibling called the Google Pixel XL (which is aimed at taking on the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung’s Note series.

More from Google
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  • Google Nexus 9 Black Front
  • Google Nexus 6 Blue Back
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  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus Black Feature image
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